Ethiopia on Friday announced the resumption of land and air transport services to neighboring Djibouti.

Ethiopia imposed restrictions on land and air transport services to all neighboring countries, including Djibouti, in March to contain the cross-border spread of COVID-19.

“Ethiopia has resumed air and land transportation services with Djibouti after undertaking close negotiations with its Djiboutian counterpart,” Dina Mufti, spokesperson for the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told journalists. “Djibouti is landlocked Ethiopia’s main sea outlet and as such of vital importance,” he said.

“The Ethiopian government undertook rigorous discussions with its Djiboutian counterpart prior to deciding to re-open air and land transportation routes,” Mufti told journalists.

The Ethiopian government is undertaking similar discussions with other neighboring countries to resume air and land transport services that were suspended as part of anti-COVID-19 measures, he said.

“The decision to resume land and air transportation services with other neighboring countries will depend on the extent of severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mutual desire of respective countries,” Mufti said.

Djibouti handles about 95 percent of the import-export trade of landlocked Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country with a population of about 110 million.

Ethiopia has so far reported 21,900 confirmed COVID-19 cases; Djibouti has reported 5,334.

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